Tips on How to Differentiate in Ecommerce



Today, the customer knows exactly what he wants. In fact, they’re also aware of the tactics that companies are employing to woo the customer, fulfil their needs and keep them happy so that they come back. Customers want more, a better shopping experience, better deals, customised landing pages – basically, they want to feel special and be surprised. This is a great opportunity for Ecommerce brands to differentiate themselves, and in the process, have a competitive advantage over other brands even though competition is very stiff.

Listed below are some key tips.

1.     Micro-conversions – Developing bite-sized goals

Most brands have a clear strategy in place to reach ‘x’ sales figure by targeting ‘y’ audience. But sometimes, brands become a little unrealistic in order to reach these goals, and taste failure too soon. In spite of intense planning, the results aren’t as expected. That’s why it is a good idea to have small and intelligent objectives in place. An important step in this direction is to have micro-conversions.

We all know that end result is for the customer to engage in sales of your product. But before this, it’s a smart idea to have some interaction with the customer. You must try to have a relationship with the customer. Depending on your conversion rate optimization goals, the micro-conversion could be the following:

  • Interacting with the Search bar
  • Using the Social Media buttons
  • Downloading a free Demo
  • Joining the website’s mailing list etc

Prior to the last step of sales, it’s a good idea to have small interactions, called micro-conversions, with the customer.

The next question would naturally be “how to get these so called micro-conversions”. Also, what’s the point of investing time in focussing on them? The key take away of having micro-conversions is two-fold.

  • Getting to know your current visitors
  • Ensuring each visitor has a unique online experience

One way to get these micro-conversions started is to have a personalised pop up survey for each visitor. Once you have the details, basic demographic details like age and mail ID, you can analyse and dwell further to create personalised solutions and promotions.

2.     Using time sensitive creative for the visitors

Robert Cialdini’s Scarcity concept is used commonly in this regard. Put this concept into practice to optimize the conversion rates for your E-commerce store. When a customer sees that a particular offer is only going to last for a few more hours, he is bound to act on a sense of urgency and go for the call to action that you would have created. The conversion could be anything, from buying a product to signing up to their newsletter. Why is it that visitors are more likely to act if presented with time pressure?

Time pressure gives a sense of exclusivity to your customer, knowing that the offer they see is not going to last for very long.

Simulating time pressure actions is a great trigger because of the sense of rarity it creates. Declaring that an offer is going to be valid only for the next 5 hours creates a longing and the thought of losing out on that offer is so great, that eventually the customer is going to want that offer. When a customer realises it’s his last chance to own that product (in an offer or discounted), he’s likely to hurry up.

Following are some of the tactics brands use to create this sense of urgency.

  • Mention how many people are also looking at the same product you’re viewing at this very moment. Example:, which allows customers to book hotels worldwide, uses this principle. It tells you how many people are viewing the same hotel you are looking at, and this makes you want to hurry up in your decision making.
  • Declare time sensitive advertisements – this also creates a sense of urgency in the customers’ mind. Example: Brands like Amazon frequently come up with great deals on their home page or landing page, prompting customers to quickly view those deals, in fear that they may not be able to view the offer again.

3.     Weather specific customisation

This, by far is one of the most intelligent ways you can make a customer feel special. Weather is said to be a mood setter and plan changer. Why not use local weather insights to promote certain products? For example, during the rains, the likelihood that your target audience would be at home, curled up in the sofa with some hot coffee, is high. It is the best time to promote sweaters, some tea or coffee, some chocolate or even some old classic move CDs.

Weather segmentation can be used with other parameters, such as proximity of your target audience to a night club or their affinity towards books etc, and all this data can be collected using solutions like Marketizator and you can now create customised pop-up banners for your audience.

To sum up, while there are many features which make your brand trustworthy, successful and popular, competition remains very high and you must now think of ways to differentiate your E-commerce brand from others. Do you own an E-commerce store, and if so, what sort of differentiators do you use? Please comment below.

Author : Shruti Shah Date : 22 Sep 2015